Despite recent reports of high no-show rates for vaccine booster appointments, 84 per cent of people across Ireland would avail of the Covid-19 booster jab if it was offered to them by the HSE. The findings come from Zahra’s end-of-year consumer sentiment report, which investigates the feelings, shared experiences and pain points of 6,017 Irish consumers.
Almost three in four people are hesitant to embrace the loosening of restrictions around dining out, heading to the pub and attending gigs. Some 88 per cent believe their social life has not resumed to its pre-pandemic ways. When asked why, 38 per cent say they are nervous catching the virus, 32 per cent say their usual group is not as social as it was before Covid.
Some 29 per cent of respondents say they simply enjoy the new pace of life.
The results show Covid has changed the meaning of Christmas for some. Upon reflection of last year’s festive season, 81 per cent said they experienced a more pared back Christmas and 78 per cent prefer a quieter, more intimate celebration compared to just 22 per cent, who favour a big celebration with everyone under one roof.
Over half – 53 per cent- found last year’s Christmas more relaxing than previous years. Three quarters of participants say their employer will not be organising a festive celebration this year. For those who have the option to attend, one in two plan to take part. When it comes to visiting the homes of family and friends over Christmas, 61 per cent plan to avoid it.
Some 86 per cent will opt for an intimate gathering with immediate family over a celebration including extended family and friends. Over half of people are concerned about budgeting this Christmas. The top three causes for concern are buying gifts for loved ones (90 per cent), grocery expenses (52 per cent) and social events (15 per cent).
One in four respondents plan to spend less this year on Christmas.
The research shows 65 per cent of parents plan to spend between €100-€200 per child this Christmas, 16 per cent aim to set aside €300 per child, and one in 10 anticipate they will spend up to €400 on each little one. When buying gifts, 73 per cent said stores like Smyths Toys, 57 per cent go online, while 34 per cent head to the middle aisle in stores such as Aldi and Lidl.
Supporting local tops the parent list this year, with 77 per cent backing local businesses when buying presents for their children. Some 77 per cent did not experience difficulties sourcing children’s presents due to supply issues caused by Brexit. Aldi, Dunnes and Tesco were voted Ireland’s top three grocery retailers people plan to rely on for the big food shop.
Pictured is Gina Miltiadou, MD and co-founder of Zahra